Cultural education vital: N.U.S. Education Dean

Courses about Samoan culture are critically important for aspiring primary school teachers at the National University of Samoa.

That is the view of the N.U.S. Faculty of Education Dean Tofilau Dr Faguele Sualii when he discussed the importance of Samoan culture and values and highlighted how the university has incorporated them into the course which is now part of an undergraduate students’ internal assessment.

He said the course content focused on traditional Samoan dancing, skit and drama performances and the preparation and making of authentic Samoan dishes.

“This is part of the student’s assessment, which is mainly for the Samoan course within the Faculty of Education in preparing breakfast till noon meals and our very own traditional food and entertainment such as dancing and skits as well as songs and storytelling,” he said.

“Culture and language which is the name given to the courses include every part of our culture that the teachers and students are learning within the course up until now.”

Tofilau added that the course is important for the N.U.S. Faculty of Education, especially students who want to take up teaching as a career in the future. 

“This course is very important to us and the students because they are the ones who will be delivering this message to the younger generation of Samoa.

“In terms of how they are going to elaborate and identify our culture and traditions especially the use of our language, and for that not only students who are involved and the majority of these ones are teachers from different primary levels in the upgrading system for improving.”

Close to 100 students have enrolled for the NUS course and are being monitored by the university’s Faculty of Education, especially the primary and secondary level education stream where the course will make up 25 per cent of the total assessment.

According to Tofilau, the performance of the students in the course over the years has been great.

“As of now the Faculty of Education students have shown great results for the Samoan course every year and mainly this course is taking up only on Semester 1, which is mainly for those who will be teaching on primary level so activities like this could make future teachers of Samoa teaching the young ones with understanding of the using of our culture and language especially.”

Tofilau also acknowledged the support of parents and families in pushing their children to take up teaching careers at both the primary and secondary school levels. 

“Firstly, we thanked the parents for coming through; they also took part in helping out with the activities such as making the food which is our very own food, and some parents came all the way from the big island of Savaii, their assistance is much appreciated the faculty cannot do this alone without their support given,” he added. 

The N.U.S. Faculty of Education was divided into four groups: Group 1 red; Group 2 green; Group 3 blue; and Group 4 red (representing Savai’i) which was led by Minister of Education Sports and Culture, Seuula Ioane of Alataua Sisifo.

The event was witnessed by parents and families as well as N.U.S. staff and students.

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